Monday, June 26, 2006

The monster comes out at night

My daughter sleeps around.

And before you take that the wrong way, let me explain.

She turned two this past April (making her 2 and a couple of months) and last week we moved her into a big girl bed (that’s code for a toddler bed).  Yvonne (my wife) said Elizabeth helped take her crib down and put the new bed together.  Everything was gravy until it was time to go to sleep.  Since then, it’s been a nightly battle to get her to stay in her bed and go to sleep.

During the day she’ll climb into bed, play with Dora, play with Baby (a Cabbage Patch Kid), show us how she is supposed to sleep, etc.  Everything is great during the day.

Then the monster comes out at night.  Friday night was a great example.  We put her in her bed, told her she needed to go to sleep, etc. at 9:30 (an hour and a half past her bedtime).  No sooner did you tell her she needed to sleep in her bed did she start screaming and crying.  So I spent the next 2 hours going into her room every 5 minutes to tell her she needed to stay in bed.  She’d refuse (still crying).  I’d continue to ask her nicely and threaten spanking.  Nothing worked.  So she got spanked.  Repeatedly.  I think she finally zonked out from sheer exhaustion at 11:30.

Saturday night was a glimpse of heaven.  Yvonne read some poems to her while she laid in bed.  All was quiet.  All was good.  She went to sleep and while she was on the floor when we got up yesterday morning, she seemed to stay in bed most of the night.  And there was no screaming or crying.

Last night was a repeat of Friday.  Lots of screaming, lots of crying, but thankfully for me, only one spanking.  I really hated being spanked as a kid and I can already tell that I hate spanking my own kid.  All I could hear in my head when I spanked her Friday night was what I always heard from the pre-school director that spanked me, “it’s because I love you.”

So last night she passed out on the side of her bed.  Her way around the staying in her bed is to sit on the side and cry.  She’s still in bed, but isn’t sleeping.  So her legs were hanging off the side last night when we went to bed.

So how does she sleep around you might ask?  Where is this story going?  She has a tendency to move when she sleeps.  With the introduction of the new bed, she’ll get out of bed and lay on the floor on her stomach.  By morning she’ll be at our door in the same position.  Total distance traveled is about 10 feet.  Thus the sleeping around.

And if anyone has a great idea on how to keep her in bed without duct tape or super glue, we’re willing to try it.  We’ve added a lamp to the existing night light.  We’ve moved her bed into every conceivable position.  We’ve added the idea of the floor being “yucky” with Henry drool (which has prompted repeated requests from her to vacuum the floor).  We’ve tried giving her prizes.  We’ve kept her from swim class.  Nothing seems to work.

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